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Departmental News:

Congratulations to this year's Vanderhoof BS/MS Fellowship winners: Drew Applebaum, Eric Gobuty, Joe Hogan, and Alexandra Litofsky. The fellowship was established through a generous gift from our distinguished alumni Mr. Richard Vanderhoof (Class of 1939). The awards were presented to the winners in a ceremony held in Miller's Library.

 

It was a bridge project that went on without tying up traffic—and, in fact, without many people knowing: Yesterday, contractors moved two 13,000-pound wooden bridge trusses out of the structures lab at Case Western Reserve University and onto pilings outside the building, to kick off a yearlong research project. The trusses, made of wood, are 11 feet high by 48 feet long and are of the same design Cleveland industrialist Amasa Stone used to build railroads across the U.S.
 
The trusses were part of a New Hampshire bridge built 86 years ago but recently burned by arson. Using timbers from Oregon, it was rebuilt in New Hampshire, disassembled and shipped to Civil Engineering Professor Dario Gasparini.
 

This year's departmental award winners are: Kenneth M. Haber Award: Andrew Appelbaum and Mark Richardson; Craig J. Miller Memorial Award: Michelle Hummel and Junliang Tao; Allison C. Neff Prize: James Hale and Greg Willenkin; Roy Harley Prize: Anna Kennedy and Kane Riggenbach; Richard and Opal Vanderhoof Award: Michael Scancarello and Alexandra Litofsky; Saada Family Fellowship for Graduate Student: Yuru Li and Quan Gao; ASCE Junior Award: Jamie Hora; ASCE Outstanding Senior Award: Joe Hogen; ASCE GB Brook Award: Michael Scanarello. Congratulations to all the outstanding award winners!

We would like to offer our warmest congratulations to the Class of 2012! Eightteen students received B.S. degrees: Premasai Achanti, Ata Adeel, Andrew Appelbaum, Erik Bogen, John Carey, Sarah Counihan, Douglas Dickson, Noah Garfinkle, William Holman, Anna Kennedy, Alexandra Litofsky, Mark Richardson, Michael Saylor, Michael Scancarello, Brian Schlesinger, Dana Schultz, Cady Walter, and Steven Wellstead. Three students received M.S. degrees: Yen-chi Chen, Daniel Hill, and Jin Qin. One student received Ph.D. degree: Bin Zhang. We all are proud of them and wish all of them the very best in their future career!

This year marks Dr. Saada’s 50th year of service to Case Western Reserve University and the Department of Civil Engineering. In his time with the department, Dr. Saada has worked tirelessly to cultivate an atmosphere of learning, always looking out for the best interests of the students. In addition to his service as the Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering, a position which he held for over 20 years, Dr. Saada developed a reputation as one of the leaders in geotechnical engineering, earning many awards from the Civil Engineering community, and publishing several influential papers in the field. Dr. Saada has also created the Saada Family Fellowship, which has provided funds for graduate students within the department. It is with great thanks that the department would like to thank Dr. Saada for his service. Read more about Dr. Saada here.

Balsa Wood Bridge Competition

The Department of Civil Engineering joined the rest of the CWRU campus in celebrating Engineers Week and helped wrap up a successful week by hosting the annual Model Bridge Competition. Over 140 students from nine area high schools built bridges made entirely of balsa wood to be tested on Friday in the Vanderhoof Infrastructure Research and Education Facility. In addition to the requirement that bridges be made entirely of balsa wood, bridges were required to span 24 inches while being less than 8” tall and 12” wide. Throughout the afternoon all of the student’s bridges were loaded to their ultimate capacity by members of the Civil Engineering Department.

On May 24th, the 17th Annual Great Lakes Geotechnical/Geoenvironmental Conference will be hosted on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Focusing on GeoEngineering in the Face of Energy and Sustainability Challenges, this year’s GLGGC will provide a forum for presenting some of the advancements made in response recent challenges in topics such as transportation and urban infrastructure systems, geohazards mitigation, development of renewable energy, geological carbon sequestration, and exploration of new energy sources.

For more information on the conference and to register, please visit the conference webpage. Any questions can be directed to Xiong (Bill) Yu, Ph.D., P.E.

The Bingham Building is now home to two fidelity driving simulators. Located in the NSF MRI Driving Simulation Lab, the simulators are used for use in ground vehicle research and training applications. The fully integrated high fidelity driving simulator includes a customized 360° wrap around display (the first of its type installed in the United States) as well as a full-width automobile cabinet, complete with two side and one center rearview LCD mirrors.

Urban SceneResearch is planned in the areas of transportation safety improvement, driver cognitive feedback, human factors, human machine interfaces, rehabilitation, and prosthesis, among other topics. Read more about the lab here.

Michael Pollino, assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, recently secured a large grant from the National Science Foundation for the project “NEESR: Seismic Rehabilitation of Substandard Building Structures through Implementation of Stiff Rocking Cores.”

Graduate Fellowship RecipientsA ceremony was held on October 27, 2011 to honor the recipients of this year’s graduate Fellowships in Civil Engineering. The recipients for this year’s Saada Family Fellowship are Yuru Li and Quan Gao, for W.R. Persons Fellowship are Zhen Liu, Kamil Nizamiev, and Hao Yu, and for Richard and Opal Vanderhoof Fellowship for BS/MS students are Yuan Gao, Kane Riggenbach, Guo Xu, and Lin Wan.At the ceremony, each student was presented with an award certificate. In addition, plaques with the student’s names are displayed on the second floor in Bingham Building. The department would like to extend its congratulations to these outstanding students and thank the Saada Family, the W.R. Persons Family, and the Vanderhoof Family for their continued support of the Department of Civil Engineering and its students.